Ever feel like you’re being compared to someone better than you? Have you ever done this comparison in your head, thinking, “I don’t measure up to this guy! He’s so much more experienced than me.” You may even substitute “better looking”, “smarter”, or whatever else for the “more experienced” phrase, depending on circumstances and your mood.
I felt that way this past week. I met some very experienced, smart people who had lots of energy and enthusiasm for their work. I admit, at first I was intimidated. I was speaking with software consultants that had experience in larger firms for more years than I did, and they were in the market competing for the same business. What chance would I have against them?
Then I remembered one of the lessons my father taught me a long time ago. No matter what others have in terms of riches, experiences, intelligence, other qualities or possessions, you are still your own person. You compete with only yourself. You bring your own enthusiasm, expertise, experience and plan to every conversation and action. So long as you’re passionate about what you’re pursuing, you WILL be successful in exactly the way you want to be, irrelevant of what others think, say, have or do.
If you want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company in five years and you focus on this goal each and every day of your life, this is exactly what you’ll become. It doesn’t matter if someone with more experience, intellect, opportunity and drive than you is shooting for the same goal. There are plenty of companies that need CEO’s. Even if there aren’t any, so long as you’re flexible with how you reach your goal, you’ll still achieve it.
You may be thinking, “All that’s good and fine, but how do you pull yourself out of the gutter of self-deprecation?” Below are the three steps I took to refocus and continue the drive to success:
- Remember Your Accomplishments
List out all that you’ve accomplished in the past few hours, days, weeks, months, years. Think of at least three things that you’ve done well where others may have doubted you’d be able to complete.
- Remember Your Potential
You have goals and a plan to achieve each of them. If you’ve read my post about BHAG’s, then you’ve set an ostentatious goal that’s achievable, but just beyond your reach. Remember all the times in the past when you set your BHAG’s and achieved them. This is grounds for you to continue to challenge yourself and set ever more ostentatious goals that you’ll accomplish, no matter what the circumstances.
- Tap Your Support Group
You have a support group, right? I’m not talking about a group where you confess your addictions or sins, though you may have that too, but your friends and family that have helped you so far. Call or go see them. I especially recommend people that’ve always given you that extra push, bit of encouragement, the boost to keep going. These may include your mom, brother, sister, close friend or relative, teacher or priest. Whoever it is, call a few and ask how they’re doing. Let them know of your plans and what you’re doing to achieve them. Tell them about some of your challenges and how you want to face them. Even if you don’t have a solution ready, just speaking with a trusted someone helps you think through the challenges. You may or may not agree with what they say, but at least you’ll hear another perspective that makes you think.
These three ideas alone help me pull out of the gutter each time, no matter what poisonous arrows are slung my way by inner demons or the words of those around me. I recommend the same for you.
What Do You Think?
What gets you down? How do you cope with adverse circumstances and words? I’d love to hear what you think of what I’ve proposed here, or if you have other methods of dealing with difficult circumstances or people.